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These ideas were created for Creative Memories products but many of them can be adapted to other types of businesses. This file has ideas on specialty kits, handout organization, die-cut display, flannel squares, fund raisers, etc. Also see Consultant Ideas and the Consultant Section.
Pre-made packages are especially good for people buying gifts. You might add a few "extras" - like a free crop coupon and some discontinued products. You could also offer free gift wrapping. On wish lists ask them to specify an album color. Here are some examples:
HOLIDAY GIFT PACK:
Christmas Sticker Pack
Printed Holiday Paper
HERITAGE GIFT PACK
12 x 12 Album
Black ABC and Stickers
Family Tree Album Page
Photo Mounting Corners
Photo Labeling Pencil
Colored Pen Set
Decorative Sticker Pack
Circles and Ovals Templates
Photo Labeling Pencil
TOOL TIME PACK
NEW PRODUCTS PACK
Newly introduced products
Tape Runner Refill
Note: I used this method years ago when I was a consultant (when I didn't have a scanner and had to make copies at the store). It worked very well but today I would scan the ideas into folders as I got them and print as needed. I would still make the index and keep copies of the most popular ideas on hand.
With this method you can find multiple handouts on any subject in about thirty seconds.
Use hanging files with subjects such as: ABC Stickers, Album Types, Children, etc.
Within the hanging files use regular folders for sub-categories (such as "Camping" and "Cruises" in the vacation folder). It is easier to make sub-folders at the start, even if you only have a few handouts.
On the back of the master copy of each handout put an abbreviation for the category (Vac for Vacation; CH for Children, etc.) and a number (in the order that you get the handouts in that category). Also put MC (for master copy). It helps to put a yellow mark on the front so you won't accidentally give it away (yellow doesn't show up on copies).
Make an index in Excel (or your preferred program). The index is very helpful because many handouts fit several categories. For example, with a Christmas idea that uses gingham paper it is easy to make two copies and file one under Paper, gingham and the other under Christmas. But what if the page also include die-cuts and photos cut with the circle cutter. In that case it is easier to file the handout under "Christmas" and cross-reference the other things in the index. Most of the time you can find things just using the file folders - Christmas, birthdays, etc. However if need ideas for a certain tool or product the index is invaluable.
Before filing a master copy make at least one copy to have on hand.
You could keep a copy of the most popular handouts in a binder for people to use at workshops.
Cut a circle of each color of paper, punch a hole in it and put it on a ring. Write the color name on each circle and the pack name on one circle. Laminating the circles makes them last longer.
My die-cut sales went up a lot after I made this display. Not only did people use the ideas on the display but they started coming up with ideas of their own.
No company can make die-cuts for every situation so you need to show people how you can use them in various ways.
On the display board I showed each die-cut used in several ways, (including the stencil part). In some cases I embellished with stickers or pens. The Die-Cut file will give you ideas to get started.
(Donna in MB)
Here's a little scrapping gift
To stop your cutting system drift
We think that there's nothing finer
Than this nifty rubber shelf liner
Place it under your CCS mat
And stop it slipping just like that.
My customers receive one when they buy an album and they love them. They are easy to clean, just throw them in the wash with your regular laundry and they don't need to be washed after every use.
I purchased a couple of yards each of pink and blue flannel. The size was determined by how many full squares could I cut across the width of fabric. They are about six inches square. This was not precision work, the edges are straight but some squares are 1/2" bigger than others. I laid the fabric back-to-back and cut 6" strips. I pinned them together and serged the edges. I then measured and marked this strip every 6". I didn't cut the squares apart, I let my serger cut and finish all in one step. If you don't have a serger you will need to cut the squares with a pinking shears or zig- zag them together. I made over fifty squares in less than an hour at less than fifteen cents each.
Purchase thick, pure cotton flannel cloth, wash it with NO fabric softener, and then cut into squares with pinking sheers.
Cut the poem out with antique scissors, punch a hole in the corner and tie it to the middle of the flannel with a ribbon.
Flannel Square Poem #1:
I'm made this for you to carry
And keep with your supplies.
Use my pink side on your photos
To keep fingerprints out of sight.
Then you can turn me over
And use the side that's blue,
To wipe off the Stabillo marks
When template tracing's through!
(by Renee M. UL)
Flannel Square Poem #2:
Here's a soft, warm fuzzy
from (your name) to you.
For wiping fingerprints from your photos,
And blue pencil residue, too.
Your friends and family will get
Warm fuzzies when they see,
How lovingly you've preserved
Your photos and memories.
With heartfelt thanks
Give each of your customers a little goodie bag tied up with curling ribbon with candy inside. On the outside, attach a slip of paper that says:
As a Family Historian, you are a "life saver" for your family's priceless photographs. You won't be a "sucker" or be taken in by products that will ultimately harm your photos - you understand that we MUST preserve the past, enrich the present and inspire hope for the future. We salute your commit-"mint" to excellence! Turning those "mounds" of photos into creative albums is nothing to "snicker" about. Put forth the "extra" effort in your plan, which will result in lots of "hugs" and "kisses" from those you love most - your family!
Take one pack and make a couple of fancy pages - maybe similar to what is on the suggestion sheet from the pack. People react much better to an actual page than to a picture. Try to think of unlikely ways to use what is left from the pack. Do some brainstorming . . . maybe at a unit meeting. For example use a campfire sticker in the center of a page of former boyfriends with the title "Old Flames".
Then take another pack and make as many simple pages as you can with just the stuff in the pack. That will point out that the packs don't cost so much when figured per page. It is quick and easy and you can make really great looking coordinating pages.
Cut mats from colored or printed paper and cut white paper 1/4 inch smaller to stick in the center to represent photos. Using actual photos on display pages tend to distract people from looking at the design (in albums you want the photos to be the center of attention but not on display pages). Simple display pages can look bland with all the white area and adding the mats with white squares to represent photos gives people a better idea how the designs will look in their albums.
(by Jean Gifford )
Here's the kit contents that I came up with for selling to band members during my marching band fund raiser. I actually sold more of these than full album kits. This was tailored to our own band, so I used school colors and flag team colors for the paper and chose the stickers and die-cuts to go with specific events. This probably works best when you are intimately involved with the group you are trying to fund raise for.
Panther Band Decorative Kit contents:
I put everything in a 2-gallon zip-lock storage bag.